Copyright: Dialogic Comedy in Pirate Rhetoric

by MICHAEL HIGH, Fordham University, USA

[Copyright © 2015 (Michael High). Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives (by-nc-nd). Available at]

This article analyzes how the groups of the Swedish Pirate movement (specifically the Piratbyrån, The Pirate Bay, the Missionerande Kopimistsamfundet, and the Piratpartiet) use dialogical comedy to counter the rhetoric of the copyright lobby. By appropriating the discourse, slogans, and even names of pro-copyright groups, the Swedish groups position themselves as the natural respondents to antipiracy campaigns. This positioning helps them to publicize onerous copyright legislation and prompt discussion on infringement, free speech, and digital rights. The reclamation of the term piracy and the subversive doubling of antipiracy rhetoric in parody, irony, and satire allows for the resignification of piracy and the recontextualization of incorrect and alarmist statements by industry representatives. As a rhetorical strategy, dialogic comedy counters hegemonic discourse, facilitates social learning, and inaugurates debate and dialogue.

Keywords: Piratbyrån, The Pirate Bay, Kopimism, Piratpartiet, piracy, parody, irony, satire, comedy, dialogism, copyright, rhetoric, appropriation

We have this history that every time somebody calls us something negative, we just take the name and make it ours. —Peter Sunde, former spokesperson for The Pirate Bay

Beginning with the U.S. Copyright Act of 1909, Congress has allowed media industry representatives to revise and increasingly draft U.S. copyright legislation amongst themselves. This situation has led to broad rights for copyright owners and only limited exemptions for libraries, universities, and the public. The interindustry negotiations that produce these laws have privileged established actors, creating significant barriers to entry for newcomers and difficulties accommodating new technologies (Litman, 2006; Wu, 2004). Correspondingly, the length of copyright has continuously expanded, and the law now includes criminal penalties for noncommercial infringement (Netanel, 2008). International lobbying and trade agreements, which often link aid and trade to the protection of intellectual property (Wang, 2003), have exported this industry-centered copyright to Europe and are aligning regimes across the globe.


Michael High: Date submitted: 2015–02–06

926 Michael High International Journal of Communication 9(2015)

With the creation of Napster in 1999, the film, recording, and software industries began litigating against private individuals and producing public media campaigns to curb peer-to-peer file sharing and other forms of unauthorized copying. Industry representatives describe such consumer practices as “piracy.” Piracy rhetoric, when used by the same industries that write and influence copyright legislation, insists that noncommercial copyright infringement results in economic destruction and criminal villainy.1 Although the term “piracy” originally denoted maritime predation, it became the common way to describe the supposed trespass on “literary property” by competing publishers in the 17th century (Johns, 2009), and until the introduction of blank cassette tapes in the 1980s (“Watchdog under fire,” 1984), the term did not include noncommercial copying. It is worth noting that the use of piracy to describe infringement is not simply metaphorical (Dawdy 2011), as piracy rhetoric functions the same across maritime and intellectual domains: Just as colonial sovereigns labeled pirates those who trespassed on their self-proclaimed right to pillage from and on the sea (Heller-Roazen, 2009), in the context of copyright, “piracy is a metaphor selected by the powerful and imposed upon the weak” (John, 2014, p. 8).

Over the last decade, however, the groups of the Swedish Pirate movement have embraced the terms pirate and piracy to challenge the rhetoric of the Motion Picture Association, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, the Business Software Alliance, and their national affiliates. Led by the Piratbyrån (Pirate Bureau), The Pirate Bay BitTorrent tracking website, the Missionerande Kopimistsamfundet (Missionary Church of Kopimism), and the Piratpartiet (Pirate Party), this movement has significantly intervened in European debates over the status of digital piracy. Though lacking the economic and media resources of their opponents, these groups have affected the popular and political debates in Europe through the reappropriation of the term pirate and the recontextualization of industry representatives’ statements. Through what I call dialogic comedy, which is the humorous appropriation of another’s ideas and statements, the pirate groups have articulated their own positions and facilitated media dialogue and public education on the role and scope of intellectual property in society.

While designations of piracy define actions and exclude actors from authorized “circulatory channels” (i.e., the legitimate production and movement of goods and ideas) (Dent, 2012, p. 663), the embracing of the appended label can force a contest between the designator and designee. By reappropriating the pirate label and the term piracy, Swedish Pirates have positioned themselves as the natural respondents to antipiracy media campaigns. Though discursive appropriation need not be comedic, parody, irony, and satire align particularly well with the youthful, iconoclastic sensibility of digital natives while encouraging group identification and participation.

In this article, I review the development of the Swedish Pirate movement, integrate theories of discursive appropriation with scholarship on copyright rhetoric, and analyze pirate texts for their counterhegemonic and affiliative potential. I argue that groups in the movement have humorously

[1 See, for instance, the Federation Against Copyright Theft’s “Copyright Is a Matter of Fact,” available at

and the Motion Picture Association’s “Who Makes Movies?” available at]

appropriated the term piracy and antipiracy rhetoric to initiate a public dialogue on the undemocratic development of copyright legislation. The study of the so-called copyright wars is well established at this point, with particular focus on legal rhetoric, political lobbying, intra- and interindustry disputes, and on antipiracy campaigns aimed at consumers and even schoolchildren. Recently, several scholars have studied the Swedish Pirate movement as a social movement (Andersson 2011; Burkart, 2014; Lindgren & Linde, 2012; Lindgren & Lundström, 2011), and others have specifically analyzed the rhetoric of piracy, file sharing, and copyright reform advocates (John, 2014; Lindgren, 2013; Logie, 2006). This article contributes to this body of work.

Genealogy of the Swedish Pirate Movement

Developing out of the Swedish hacker and Internet radio broadcast communities, Piratbyrån began in 2003 as a loose collective responding to the antipiracy group, Svenska Antipiratbyrån (Swedish Anti-Piracy Bureau). According to Piratbyrån member Magnus Eriksson,

There was no Bureau of Piracy for them to be against. They were against an invisible mass. So we thought that “ok, you can be against us.” . . . Now they had to be against someone that gave them counter arguments. (in Lindgren & Linde, 2012, p. 149)

The group created and operated an Internet forum ( that functioned as a knowledge pool and discussion space for more than 60,000 registered members who intervened in various media and events, such as issuing press releases; publishing op-eds in Swedish newspapers; participating in Swedish television and radio debates; launching pro-piracy media campaigns; and lecturing at universities, conferences, and festivals throughout Europe (“The Bureau,” 2007; Fleisher & Torsson, 2006). In 2010, the group disbanded and shuttered its website.

During its first year, Piratbyrån started The Pirate Bay BitTorrent tracker website ( Initially launched by Gottfrid Svartholm, Fredrik Neij later joined as technical support, and Peter Sunde eventually became the media spokesperson. Due to the technical nature of the site as well as its growth, The Pirate Bay separated from the Piratbyrån in 2004, though the two continued to act together occasionally. Although not the first torrent tracker, The Pirate Bay quickly became the largest in the world and, as of October 2014, had 6.6 million registered users sharing 5.7 million torrents and a global site rank of 84 out of 500.2 The Pirate Bay originally operated legally under Swedish law, but in 2005 Sweden implemented the EU Copyright Directive, which harmonized copyright law with provisions similar to the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Following implementation, pressure from the copyright lobby and the U.S. State Department led to police seizing the servers of The Pirate Bay and other websites (Piratbyrån’s in particular), though the site returned after a few days. In 2008, a coalition of Nordic and U.S. media companies filed civil and criminal charges against the site and its operators, who were eventually sentenced to prison time and fines of several million dollars. At the time of this writing,

[2 Site rank refers to the most visited websites for the current month. The Pirate Bay user information is available at, and page ranks can be found at]

Sunde has served his prison sentence, Svartholm and Neij are serving theirs (along with sentences hacking related offenses), and the site is run with the help of anonymous administrators. Attempts to shut down the site by international and local authorities continue.

According to Sunde, at some point in 2007, Monique Wadsted, the Swedish lawyer for the Motion Picture Association, was asked her view on file sharing advocates. Wadsted allegedly responded, “It’s just a few people, very loud. They’re a cult. They call themselves Kopimists” (Faris, 2012, para. 1). Sunde then appropriated the idea: “We were called pirates, so we said, ‘Let’s make pirates cool.’ O.K., so now, we’re a cult. Let’s make that fun as well” (Faris, 2012, para. 1). Though Sunde never followed through with the idea, he devised a working name: Church of Copying Kopimists, or COCK for short (Sunde, 2012). In 2012, Isak Gerson and Gustav Nipe received official recognition in Sweden for the Missionerande Kopimistsamfundet. According to its constitution, the religion values “all information irrespective of its content” and holds the copying and disseminating of information “as ethically right.” Adopting the key combinations Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V as its religious symbols, the religion’s central commandment is “Copy and seed” (First United Church of Kopimism, 2012, para. 12). As of 2012, the Kopimists had more than 5,000 members in the Swedish congregation and congregations in 18 countries (Faris, 2012).

Rick Falkvinge founded the Piratpartiet in 2005 as a response to the unsuccessful fight against software patents in the EU Parliament, to the criminalization of file sharing in Sweden (with the adoption of the EU copyright directive), and to the EU’s mandatory data retention of all telephony and Internet transmissions (Falkvinge, 2011a). Though the party did not originate from a Piratbyrån member, it copied the collective’s name, ideas, and tactics (Falkvinge, 2011b). The speed at which the party garnered attention was remarkable: One day after Falkvinge set up a Web page and posted a link in a chat channel, Swedish national media reported on it, and two days later, international media did the same (Norton, 2006).

The Piratpartiet’s single most important goal is protecting civil liberties. To do so, it advocates the abolishment of the patent system, which is “damaging to innovation, to competition, and to economic growth” (Engström, 2012, para. 2); the legalization of noncommercial file sharing; a prohibition on digital rights management software; a five-year limit on instant copyright, with a maximum of 15 years with registration; and reasonable regulation for quotations from audio, video, and other media, similar to those covered by fair use (Engström, 2012). The goal has clearly resonated; there are now parties in 63 countries, with representatives in local, city, state, national, and EU parliamentary seats. Nipe, the cofounder of the Missionerande Kopimistsamfundet, leads the party’s youth organization, which is one of the largest and fastest growing in Sweden.

These related groups function as channels for the political energies of Swedish and European youth. Lindgren and Linde (2012) hold that online piracy in Sweden is a social movement, a group of people “acting together to change society” (p. 161). A “third wave” social movement, the pirate movement differs from earlier ones based on worker and identity politics because it coalesces around everyday practice, enabling the transition from subpolitical to political action (Lindgren & Linde, 2012). Burkart (2014) similarly finds, though from a different standpoint, that pirates are a “new social movement,” a middle class, nonrevolutionary movement “dedicated to social learning and cultural decolonization” (p. 37) of the lifeworld. That is, they aim to facilitate collective learning processes and combat attempts to dictate and determine daily access to, and use of, networked communications and computer technology.

Through reflexive media campaigns, this movement attempts to create consensus among the larger society on issues related to privacy, free speech, and personal liberty rather than to primarily influence commercial and political groups (Burkart, 2014). The movement’s focus on debate and dialogue conflicts with the current legislation by industry approach, which imposes onerous and often unnecessary copyright legislation without public oversight (Agarwal, 2009; Burkart, 2014). As I will argue, by accepting the label of pirates and comically appropriating antipiracy discourse, the movement rhetorically performs the democratic dialogue on copyright and intellectual property that it desires to see in the larger society.

Antipiracy Rhetoric, Appropriation, and Dialogism

In various media and educational campaigns, the copyright industry has attempted to affect the norms and practices of unauthorized copying. Media campaigns generally exploit anxieties over job security and unemployment, portraying piracy as a threat to “ordinary working people” (Gates, 2006, p. 58), or they villainize infringers by linking copying practices to theft of physical property, organized crime, terrorism, human trafficking, and other offenses (Mirghani, 2011). Through spurious statistics and unchecked hyperbole, copyright industry representatives attempt to create moral panics that conflate digital piracy and crime epidemics, thereby justifying the legislation that criminalized unauthorized copying in the first place (Patry, 2009; Yar, 2005). The educational campaigns likewise obfuscate realities: They oversimplify copyright law, omit or constrain fair use, equate infringement with theft of physical property and plagiarism, define digital culture solely as mass culture and commerce, and present creativity as a strictly individualized, isolated phenomenon (Gillespie 2009; Yar 2008).

By accepting the pirate label, the Swedish groups become the target of these campaigns, but the appropriation of the label also provides an opportunity to counter their claims. As John (2014) asserts, the reclaiming of the pirate epithet functions similarly to the process of resignifying derogatory terms to counter hate speech.3 According to Butler’s (1997) theorization of performative speech acts, the resignification of harmful speech lies in the creation of the subject through designation: Naming creates a subject who can be injured by speech but also, paradoxically, can “use language to counter the offensive call” (p. 2). Through the recontextualization of the original speech act, a different intention animates the offensive speech and enables it to “perform a reversal of effects” (Butler, 1997, p. 14).

John, in his application of Butler to piracy, cautions against the use of the term “piracy,” as it evokes a “sense of lawlessness and excitement” (2014, p. 10). He advocates instead the term file sharing, which has a history within the cooperative formation of the Internet and signifies positive emotional engagement. Whereas piracy is imposed from the top down, file sharing “is a term that has emerged bottom-up from the field” (John, 2014, p. 7). According to John, academics and activists should

[3 I am grateful to an anonymous reviewer for recommending this text.]

not allow the “war on piracy” metaphor to gain ascendancy—not only because “piracy” is such a negative term, . . . but also, and mainly, because when we call file sharing “file sharing” we are issuing a critical challenge to the current copyright regime. (John, 2014, p. 12)

Yet piracy has already become the dominant way to describe file sharing, and piracy has an arguably longer history of critical challenge and greater potential for emotional engagement. Unlike most hate speech, in which derogatory terms have a primarily negative and traumatic history that overwhelms previous positive meanings, the term piracy has always been ambivalent. In the 5th century BCE, the Athenian historian Thucydides decried

the honor with which some of the inhabitants of the continent still regard a successful marauder, and by the question we find the old poets everywhere representing the people as asking of voyagers—“Are they pirates?”—as if those who are asked the question would have no idea of disclaiming the imputation, or their interrogators of reproaching them for it. (2004, p. 3)

In the 17th and 18th centuries, while colonial authorities deemed pirates the “villains of all nations,” popular ballads and other forms of folk literature celebrated the pirate as “doing justice to sailors” (Rediker, 2004, pp. 17, 83). A similar celebration of pirates exists in Hollywood cinema, in which they are at times represented, in the words of Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski, as “rebellion distilled” (Surell, 2005, p. 119). The perennial ambivalence of piracy confirms a general understanding that what constitutes it “has been highly contested throughout history, usually based on conflicting political interests” (Kuhn, 2009, p. 7).

As Dent (2012) observes, piracy bifurcates into pejorative and celebratory appellations: Negatively, it is parasitic, lawless, and sociopathic; positively, it is just, liberatory, and revolutionary. If viewed as social banditry (Hobsbawm, 1959), piracy seeks to correct the inequities imposed on the weak by the powerful. When file sharers adopt the pirate label or the Jolly Roger symbol, as have several anarchist and anticapitalist protesters in recent years (Land, 2013), they adopt the positive history of revolt associated with pirates and contest the negative meanings. This is important because, as Butler (1997) insists, “to be addressed is not merely to be recognized for what one already is, but to have the very term conferred by which the recognition of existence becomes possible” (p. 5). Such recognition is essential in modern societies because, as Thompson (2005) maintains, the struggle for mediated visibility is the “principal means by which social and political struggles are articulated and carried out” (p. 49). To accept the designation of piracy acknowledges and pilfers the authority held by those making the designation, appropriating their symbolic power (Bourdieu, 1991). Thus, the respect, authority, and media visibility of antipiracy industry representatives can facilitate the visibility of those who identify as pirates.

Through the symbolic power of their opponents, pirates interpose their pro-piracy rhetoric into the monological discourses of intellectual property. According to Bakhtin (1981), monological discourse attempts to silence the natural polyphony of language and deny subjectivity to others. The monological voice speaks not in the hope of being spoken to, but with the full confidence of its irreproachability (Holquist, 1990). Dialogic discourse, which pirate comedy creates, inversely allows for “another’s speech in another’s language” (Bakhtin, 1981, p. 324) by repeating the utterances, form, and style of copyright maximalist discourse. Such “double-voiced” (ibid.) discourse creates a dialogue between previously separate intentions and statements.

Dialogic Pirate Comedy

The use of dialogic comedy to delegitimize copyright industry rhetoric and legislation distinguished Piratbyrån’s approach to intellectual property reform. The name of the group was a “semantic joke” formed by dropping the anti in Antipiratbyrån (Fleisher, 2009), which both conjured and problematized its other: It was, on one level, a direct confrontation with Antipiratbyrån, but on another level it lent a retroactive authorization to Antipiratbyrån’s existence, a posteriority that deconstructed Antipiratbyrån’s mission. By extracting Piratbyrån from Antipiratbyrån, the collective simultaneously justified Antipiratbyrån’s purpose by giving it an organized, recognizable enemy and undermined it by retroactively illustrating the excessiveness of the trade group’s responses toward unorganized file sharers. As well, the members demonstrated in their own persons that pirates were not the dangerous criminals conjured by antipiracy campaigns, but rather articulate and passionate young adults.

As Hutcheon (1985) formulates, parody is “imitation characterized by ironic inversion” (p. 6). It is “repetition with critical distance” (p. 6), distance which comes from the knowledge of the parodist’s place in history. Whereas the copyright lobby, to further its members’ interests, is militantly ahistorical in its pronouncements, ignoring the long history of piracy in media development and commerce (Decherney, 2012; Wu, 2004), the “double-voice” of Piratbyrån’s parody played “on the tensions created by . . . historical awareness” (Hutcheon, 1985, p. 4). This “trans-contextualization,” which “partakes of both the code of a particular text parodied, and also of the parodic generic code in general” (Hutcheon, 1985, p. 42), transforms the meaning of the original trade group. The name Piratbyrån activated and questioned the binary morality posited by the copyright lobby.

In addition, the extraction of Piratbyrån from Antipiratbyrån deftly appropriated the latter’s symbolic power. By closely mirroring the copyright group’s name, Piratbyrån positioned itself as the obvious balance for all of the group’s antipiracy interventions, campaigns, and public statements. Piratbyrån became the natural and necessary source for journalists to contact when reporting on Antipiratbyrån and piracy-related issues. This positioning is particularly ironic, because current media conglomeration facilitates the synergistic promotion of copyright lobby rhetoric across film, television, music, print publishing, newspaper, and software outlets. Through the “impasse of false symmetry” (Hall, 1974, p. 23) created by the myth of journalistic objectivity, the collective likely affected the profit of the very companies that reported on their activities.

For its logo, Piratbyrån similarly appropriated the history of the British Phonographic Industry’s “Home Taping Is Killing Music” campaign. The logo featured the campaign’s title over a modified Jolly Roger: a cassette over crossbones. Underneath this symbol, the logo insisted, “and it’s illegal.”4 When parodied by Piratbyrån, the symbol (sans slogan) became a double-coded reference to the collective’s support for copying and to the previous campaign. The “Home Taping Is Killing Music” campaign harnessed the perennial fear of new technologies, yet the continuing existence of the recording industry (however diminished) demonstrates the falsity of the original claim and of the many similar claims that have since followed. By parodying the earlier campaign, Piratbyrån reactivated the copyright industry’s alarmist and ultimately incorrect rhetoric, foregrounding the repetition of such claims for more than 30 years.

As with any parody, if the decoder of the text does not recognize the encoded parody, it does not work (Hutcheon, 1985). Yet both the name Piratbyrån and its symbol, even if read without the encoded parody, still signify a stance taken against copyright and a playful reappropriation of a stigmatized label. By self-designating as pirates, Piratbyrån harnessed piracy’s positive connotations (rebellion, courage, protest, etc.) to counter antipiracy campaigns’ negative ones (theft, job loss, danger, etc.). Such reappropriations “can both be a cause and a marker of elevated group status” (Galinsky, Hugenberg, Groom, & Bodenhausen, 2003, p. 223), and Piratbyrån used them to construct a “collective identity by referring to a common history and symbolism” (Lindgren & Linde, 2012, p. 158).

The Pirate Bay creates a similarly double-voiced discourse. The site’s “Legal Threats” page features cease and desist letters from companies including Microsoft, Apple, DreamWorks, SEGA, EA, and Warner Bros. with responses from site operator Svartholm. A paradigmatic response, for both the site’s attitude toward U.S. companies and its ironic textuality, is the response to the lawyer for DreamWorks SKG, who informed the operators that they would be liable for infringement under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act if they did not remove Shrek 2. Svartholm (2004) posted the original letter with this response:

As you may or may not be aware, Sweden is not a state in the United States of America. Sweden is a country in northern Europe. Unless you figured it out by now, US law does not apply here. For your information, no Swedish law is being violated.

Please be assured that any further contact with us, regardless of medium, will result in a) a suit being filed for harassment [and] b) a formal complaint lodged with the bar of your legal counsel, for sending frivolous legal threats.

It is the opinion of us and our lawyers that you are . . . morons, and that you should please go sodomize yourself with retractable batons.

Please also note that your e-mail and letter will be published in full on

Go fuck yourself.

Polite as usual, anakata.

[4 An image of the British Phonographic Industry’s campaign logo is available at wiki/File:Home_taping_is_killing_music.png. The Piratbyrån symbol is available at http://commons.]

The response begins with a simple statement of fact and moves toward a juvenile and perverse climax, culminating in an ironic (“Polite as usual”) valediction. Yet the irony extends throughout the response, as became clear following the operators’ trial. Even after the website was declared illegal under Swedish law, the operators maintained it. The continued operation after the injunction confirms that the site’s operators have a rabid contempt for any law that inhibits technological experimentation and for any authority that limits Internet activity. Irony’s edge, to use Hutcheon’s (1994) term for the semantic and evaluative complexity of asserting irony, allows for dual readings of the legal response: as emphatic statement of national sovereignty and as empty bravado parading as legalist threat. Though Svartholm claims in the response that the site will sue for legal harassment and file a bar association complaint, it would not.5 Well aware of the contradiction such a suit would highlight (and the impossibility of winning), the intention is not to follow the law but rather to publicize, mockingly, its maintenance of power.

The Missionerande Kopimistsamfundet, like Piratbyrån, borrows liberally from the terminology, tone, and ceremonies of other groups (specifically, other religions), and even copied the exact language from Sweden’s laws into its application for official recognition (Cote, 2012). Like The Pirate Bay, the religion skates back and forth across irony’s edge, almost to the point of undecidability. According to cofounder and chairman Nipe, the religion began as “a joke” (Faris, 2012, para. 4), but cofounder and spiritual leader Gerson insists, “I don’t think it’s a joke at all. I think that many religions have been ridiculed over the years. I don’t think we’re the first to experience it” (Romig, 2012, para. 13).6 The ambiguity and irony of the religion (and its founders) highlights the crisis of religion in Sweden today, where registering a religion is “exactly the same process as registering a business company” (Romig, 2012, para. 8). With no deity and no afterlife, Kopimism is a reflexive satire of religion. Religions, at least as usually practiced, are inherently essentialist, positing an essence that transcends individual human life (soul, spirit, god, etc.). The holy is, therefore, that which transcends the physical. Yet by making the first tenet of the religion “Information is holy” (Huffington Post, 2012), Kopimism undermines any notion of transcendence, because its holiest of holies does not manifest in the physical world.

To combat copyright, the “church” advocates that all expression has potential value and should therefore be shared and spread; hence, its one commandment is “Copy and seed.” In this formulation, that which is most valuable is that which is most shared, reversing the normal value in scarcity (Baraniuk, 2012). Like Piratbyrån, but in its own particular way, the religion denies the validity of copyright by apotheosizing copying and, implicitly, the desire to consume. If, as Dawdy (2011) claims, consumer “piracy represents one of the sharpest ironies of neoliberal capitalism” because it creates “new consumer frontiers for multinational corporations” and the “conditions that make it possible for local producers of imitations to satisfy the new demands of globalized desire” (p. 380), then Kopimists crown that irony by

[5 The site’s “lawyers” was a law student contacted through Internet Relay Chat (Persson & Klose, 2013).  6 The founder of the First United Church of Kopimism in the United States, Christopher Carmean, also insists that the U.S. church and its 666 members are “not a joke” (Fitzpatrick, 2012, para. 6).]

sanctifying desire and piracy. The religion has selectively appropriated aspects of economics and theology that undermine other economic and religious systems: exchange without exchange value and belief without believing in something. Fittingly, Kopimists have taken one particular biblical passage as their own: “Copy me, my brothers, just as I copy Christ himself” (1 Cor. 11:1). Kopimism is sure to become the most successful missionary religion in history, considering that computer users practice it every time they press Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V.]

Reflexive appropriation is also at the core of the Piratpartiet. Falkvinge (2011b) stresses that starting the party was not a radical innovation: “Pirate policies were already established by the Piratbyrån. When the time came to politicize the issues, it was not a matter of founding a new party and start [sic] contemplating its name” (para. 9). Just as “the gay movement reclaimed the word gay” (para. 15), pirates reclaim the term pirate: “By standing proud about being a pirate, and doing so in public, you take that weapon away from the copyright industry’s lobby. These days, they are even complaining that branding people as pirates doesn’t work anymore” (para. 15). By copying Piratbyrån, the party gained the copyright lobby’s purloined symbolic power as well as the collective’s members and supporters. After the police raid on The Pirate Bay and Piratbyrån’s servers, party membership jumped from 2,000 to 6,000 (Poulsen, 2009), and media outlets that were previously uninterested in the party put Falkvinge’s face, according to him, “on every news broadcast on every hour on every channel” (Anderson, 2009, para. 6). Following the guilty verdict in the site’s trial, the party’s membership more than doubled, increasing from 15,000 to 37,000 within a week (Poulsen, 2009).

Like the other groups, the Pirate Party has frequently used dialogic comedy to communicate its positions and compromise its opponents’ positions. The first pirate platform held that the party, if elected, would ensure that Swedish Justice Minister Thomas Bodström would “get no other public job except selling hotdogs outside of parliament,” because “he at least can’t do any damage from there” (Falkvinge, 2011a, para. 14). For April Fools’ Day 2012, the party demanded that the Swedish Parliament compensate it and its members for their labor. Through incomprehensible arithmetic that parodied piracy loss statistics, the party demanded “61 billion euros . . . from those who have stolen so much time from the party’s activists, stolen it through their lack of interest for culture and privacy” (Falkvinge, 2012, para. 6). The year before, the party embraced copyright lobby statistics, claiming that they “might actually be accurate,” even though “the copyright industry’s claimed losses” far exceeded “the gross domestic product of the entire planet” (Troberg, 2011, para. 1). Ironically stating that it would generate “several million euros . . . every hour” by letting two computers copy music and movies back and forth (Troberg, 2011, para. 4), the party planned to hire the six million people comprising the entire Swedish workforce with the money it was taking from the copyright industry.

Comedy, Affiliation, and Democracy

Dialogic comedy is not the only strategy used by the Swedish Pirate movement. Through a comparative analysis of corporate news organizations and pro-piracy blogs, Lindgren (2013) reveals that pirates practice the same moral panic discourse as antipiracy groups. Pirates too insist that their opponents are folk devils (Cohen, 1972), casting the industry and the government as threats to Internet users. This approach is not surprising, because demonization is a handy and simple rhetorical strategy, and those aware of pirate blogs are probably already sympathetic to pirate politics. However, the centrality of dialogic comedy to the groups’ formation, names, and positions (and thus all their subsequent interventions) indicates that, as a rhetorical strategy, dialogic comedy has functions other than countering opponents’ assertions.

Conceptions of comedy based on the superiority theory of humor stress the aggressive nature of joking (Morreall, 2009), and pirate comedy certainly assaults its targets to delegitimize them. However, as several scholars have noted, comedy also helps to challenge accepted notions and create social bonds, which is essential for any emerging social movement. Emerson (1969) contends that joking provides a way for communicating taboo topics and facilitates bargaining arrangements between participants. Douglas (1999) claims that jokes simultaneously “destroy hierarchy and order” (p. 155) while establishing connections between ideas and individuals. And Davies (2005) finds that jokes “are a consequence of hegemony but are at odds with it,” providing “an area of ambiguity and incongruity where no-one is quite sure what has been said” (p. 28).

Conceived in this way, pirate comedy creates the ambiguity necessary for questioning hegemonic discourses and, through its questions, creates shared understandings and establishes community. It examines the prohibitions against unauthorized circulation and reproduction of information in a captivating way, facilitating social learning through the repetition and recontextualization of discourse in parody, irony, and satire. In the United States, where the influences of lobbying and campaign contributions have created political deadlock, resulting in congressional favorability ratings falling from 65% in 2001 to 23% in 2014 (Pew Research, 2013), appropriative comedic modes are increasingly salient. As the interventions of The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and others have demonstrated, dialogic comedy can inform and prompt people to political action. The concurrent appearance of these shows and pirate comedy suggests that when politics serves the interests of corporations and oligarchs over those of the citizenry, dialogic comedy enacts the processes of debate and consensus building necessary to democratic political action.


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The Bureau of Piracy Activities 2007. (2007). [Report]. Retrieved from—Piratbyran-ag

Burkart, P. (2014). Pirate politics: The new information policy contests. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Butler, J. (1997). Excitable speech: A politics of the performative. New York, NY: Routledge.

Cohen, S. (1972). Folk devils and moral panics: The creation of the Mods and Rockers. London, UK: MacGibbon and Kee.

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Davies, C. (2005). Jokes and groups. London, UK: Institute for Cultural Research.

Dawdy, S. L. (2011). Why pirates are back. Annual Review of Law and Social Science, 7, 361–385. Retrieved from

Decherney, P. (2012). Hollywood’s copyright wars: From Edison to the Internet. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.

Dent, A. S. (2012). Introduction: Understanding the war on piracy, or why we need more anthropology of pirates. Anthropological Quarterly, 85(3), 659–672. Retrieved from

Douglas, M. (1999). Implicit meanings: Essays in anthropology. London, UK: Routledge.

Emerson, J. P. (1969). Negotiating the serious import of humor. Sociometry, 32(2), 169–181. Retrieved from 10.2307/2786261

Engström, C. (2012). What the Swedish Pirate Party wants with patents, trademarks, and copyright [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Falkvinge, R. (2011a). Origins of the Pirate Party: Privacy, sharing, innovation [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Falkvinge, R. (2011b). Why the name “Pirate Party”? [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Falkvinge, R. (2012). Pirate party demands to be paid for its hard work [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Faris, S. (2012, February 9). The church of Internet piracy. Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved from

First United Church of Kopimism, US. (2012). Kopimist Constitution (English). Retrieved from

Fitzpatrick, A. (2012, May 9). Kopimism: File-sharing religion takes root in the U.S. Mashable. Retrieved from

Fleisher, R., & Torsson, P. (2006). Piratbyran’s speech at Reboot [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Galinsky, A. D., Hugenberg, K., Groom, C., & Bodenhausen, G. V. (2003). The reappropriation of stigmatizing labels: Implications for social identity. Research on Managing Groups and Teams, 5, 221–256. Retrieved from 10.1016/S1534-0856(02)05009-0

Gates, K. (2006). Will work for copyrights: The cultural policy of anti-piracy campaigns. Social Semiotics, 16(1), 57–73. Retrieved from 10.1080/10350330500487786

Gillespie, T. (2009). Characterizing copyright in the classroom: The cultural work of antipiracy campaigns. Communication, Culture and Critique, 2(3), 274–318. Retrieved from

Hall, S. (1974). Media power: The double bind. Journal of Communication, 24(4), 19–26. Retrieved from

Heller-Roazen, D. (2009). The enemy of all: Piracy and the law of nations. New York, NY: Zone Books.

Hobsbawm, E. J. (1959). Primitive rebels: Studies in archaic forms of social movements in the 19th and 20th centuries. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press.

Holquist, M. (1990). Dialogism: Bakhtin and his world. London, UK: Routledge.

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Hutcheon, L. (1985). A theory of parody: The teachings of twentieth-century art forms. New York, NY: Methuen.

Hutcheon, L. (1994). Irony’s edge: The theory and politics of irony. London, UK: Routledge.

John, N. A. (2014). File sharing and the history of computing: Or, why file sharing is called “file sharing.” Critical Studies in Media Communication, 31(3), 1–14. Retrieved from

Johns, A. (2009). Piracy: The intellectual property wars from Gutenberg to Gates. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Kuhn, G. (2010). Life under the Jolly Roger: reflections on golden age piracy. Oakland, CA: PM Press.

Land, C. (2007). Flying the black flag: Revolt, revolution and the social organization of piracy in the ‘golden age’. Management & Organizational History, 2(2), 169–192. Retrieved from 10.1177/1744935907078726

Lindgren, S. (2013). Pirate panics. Information, Communication and Society, 16(8), 1242–1265. Retrieved from

Lindgren, S., & Linde, J. (2012). The subpolitics of online piracy: A Swedish case study. Convergence: The International Journal of Research Into New Media Technologies, 18(2), 143–164. Retrieved from

Lindgren, S., & Lundström, R. (2011) Pirate culture and hacktivist mobilization: The cultural and social protocols of #WikiLeaks on Twitter. New Media and Society, 13(6), 999–1018. Retrieved from

Litman, J. (2006). Digital copyright. Amherst, MA: Prometheus Books.

Logie, J. (2006). Peers, pirates, and persuasion: Rhetoric in the peer-to-peer debates. West Lafayette, IN: Parlor Press.

Mirghani, S. (2011). The war on piracy: Analyzing the discursive battles of corporate and government-sponsored anti-piracy media campaigns. Critical Studies in Media Communication, 28(2), 113–134. Retrieved from

Morreall, J. (2009). Comic relief: A comprehensive philosophy of humor. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Netanel, W. (2008). Why has copyright expanded? Analysis and critique. In F. Macmillan (Ed.), New directions in copyright law (Vol. 6, pp. 3–34). Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar.

Norton, Q. (2006, August 17). A nation divided over piracy. Wired. Retrieved from

Patry, W. (2009). Moral panics and the copyright wars. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Pew Research. (2013). Congressional favorability. Retrieved from

Poulsen, K. (2009, April 22) Swedish Pirate Party doubles in size after Bay verdict. Wired. Retrieved from

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Rediker, M. (2004). Villains of all nations: Atlantic pirates in the golden age. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

Romig, R. (2012, January 12). The first church of Pirate Bay. The New Yorker. Retrieved from

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Svartholm, G. (2004). Dreamworks response [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Thompson, J. B. (2005). The new visibility. Theory, Culture and Society, 22(6), 31–51. Retrieved from

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Troberg, A. (2011). Pirate Party to hire across all of Sweden [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Wang, S. (2003). Framing piracy: Globalization and film distribution in greater China. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

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Wu, T. (2004). Copyright’s communications policy. Michigan Law Review, 103, 278–366. Retrieved from

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CIA Combined Torture w/Human Experimentation

CIAwatertortureFormerly classified document exposes how agency’s attempt to legitimize abusive interrogation program was itself another layer of crime

by John Queally

After the Central Intelligence Agency was given authority to begin torturing suspected terrorists in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001, newly published documents show that another of that program’s transgressions, according to experts, was a gross violation of medical ethics that allowed the agency to conduct what amounted to “human experimentation” on people who became test subjects without consent. [What was the point of beating the Nazis only to become just like them?]

Reported exclusively by the Guardian on Monday, sections of a previously classified CIA document—first obtained by the ACLU—reveal that a long-standing policy against allowing people to become unwitting medical or research subjects remained in place and under the purview of the director of the CIA even as the agency began slamming people into walls, beating them intensely, exposing them to prolonged periods of sleep deprivation, performing repeated sessions of waterboarding, and conducting other heinous forms of psychological and physical abuse.

The document details agency guidelines—first established in 1987 during the presidency of Ronald Reagan but subsequently updated—in which the CIA director and an advisory board are directly empowered to make decisions about programs considered “human subject research” by the agency.

As journalist Spencer Ackerman reports:

The relevant section of the CIA document, “Law and Policy Governing the Conduct of Intelligence Agencies”, instructs that the agency “shall not sponsor, contract for, or conduct research on human subjects” outside of instructions on responsible and humane medical practices set for the entire US government by its Department of Health and Human Services.

A keystone of those instructions, the document notes, is the “subject’s informed consent”.

That language echoes the public, if obscure, language of Executive Order 12333 – the seminal, Reagan-era document spelling out the powers and limitations of the intelligence agencies, including rules governing surveillance by the National Security Agency. But the discretion given to the CIA director to “approve, modify, or disapprove all proposals pertaining to human subject research” has not previously been public.

The entire 41-page CIA document exists to instruct the agency on what Executive Order 12333 permits and prohibits, after legislative action in the 1970s curbed intelligence powers in response to perceived abuses – including the CIA’s old practice of experimenting on human beings through programs like the infamous MK-Ultra project, which, among other things, dosed unwitting participants with LSD as an experiment.

The previously unknown section of the guidelines empower the CIA director and an advisory board on “human subject research” to “evaluate all documentation and certifications pertaining to human research sponsored by, contracted for, or conducted by the CIA”.

Critics have long blasted any members of the medical community who participated in the torture program as traitors to their ethical and professional duties, but as the Guardian notes, “The CIA, which does not formally concede that it tortured people, insists that the presence of medical personnel ensured its torture techniques were conducted according to medical rigor.”

But Steven Aftergood, a scholar of the intelligence agencies with the Federation of American Scientists, told the Guardian that these men who were tortured by the agency were, in fact, being studied by medical professionals to see how they would respond to such treatment. In addition to the inherent crime of that abuse, they were also unwitting subjects who never gave their informed consent to be studied in this way. “There is a disconnect between the requirement of this regulation [contained in the document] and the conduct of the interrogation program,” Aftergood explained. “They do not represent consistent policy.”

And Nathaniel Raymond, a former war-crimes investigator with Physicians for Human Rights and now a researcher with Harvard University’s Humanitarian Initiative, put it this way: “Crime one was torture. The second crime was research without consent in order to say it wasn’t torture.”

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Thou Shalt Not Kill: U.S. Marine Debunks Military Hype


by Chris Hedges

The military in the United States portrays itself as endowed with the highest virtues—honor, duty, self-sacrifice, courage and patriotism. Politicians, entertainers, sports stars, the media, clerics and academics slavishly bow before the military machine, ignoring its colossal pillaging of state resources, the egregious war crimes it has normalized across the globe, its abject service not to democracy or freedom but corporate profit, and the blind, mind-numbing obedience it inculcates among its members. A lone soldier or Marine who rises up inside the system to denounce the hypermasculinity that glorifies violence and war, who exposes the false morality of the military, who refuses to kill in the service of imperial power, unmasks the military for what it is. And he or she, as Chelsea Manning has learned, swiftly pays a very, very heavy price.

Spc. Robert Weilbacher as a new Army combat medic stationed in South Korea listened to stories told by combat veterans, many suffering from trauma and depression, about the routine and indiscriminate slaughter of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was horrified. He had believed the propaganda fed to him over the years. He considered himself a patriot. He had accepted the notion that the U.S. military was a force for good, intervening to liberate Iraqis and Afghans and fight terrorists. But after hearing the veterans’ tales, his worldview crumbled. He began to ask questions he had not asked before. He began to think. And thinking within any military establishment is an act of subversion. He soon decided he did not want to be part of an organization that routinely snuffed out the lives of unarmed people, including children. He applied in February 2014 for a classification known as Conscientious Objector (1-0).

He instantly became a pariah within his unit. No one wanted to associate with him. He was taunted as a “traitor,” “coward,” “faggot” and “hippie.” He was assigned to the most demeaning jobs on the base. And the military bureaucracy began making him jump through hoops that he is still trying to negotiate two years later. He became an example to his fellow soldiers of the physical and emotional harassment, as well as humiliation, that is visited on all who dare within the military to challenge the sanctity of war and discipline.

“I feel as if my own government is torturing me,” he said when I reached him by phone in his barracks at Fort Campbell, Ky.

Weilbacher, 27, grew up in poverty, raised by a single mother, in the inner city of Columbus, Ohio. As a student at Ohio State University, where he was a political science and English major, he started two organizations to help feed the homeless. He was an idealist. He wanted to serve humanity. And, in the warped culture in which he lived—American culture—the best way to do that was to join the military, which was organized, he thought, around “noble ideals.”

“The public perception, including at Ohio State, which has a big ROTC program, is that soldiers are heroic,” he said. “They’re serving their country. They’re in the best Army in the world. I didn’t question this. I watched the commercials with the climatic background music for the Marine Corps—‘the few, the proud, the Marines.’ The Marines have the biggest masculine factor. I thought, I have the credentials to be a Marine officer.”

“Every message given to me by popular culture was that violence was a means of conflict resolution,” he said. “This was especially true in the inner city where I grew up and where there is a lack of education. Video games, such as ‘Call of Duty,’ normalize violence. You don’t realize the impact it has. Your conscience is subverted. In ‘Call of Duty’ you get rewarded for killing—you rank up in the system. The message is if you like ‘Call of Duty’ you’ll like the military. And, of course, the military also incentivizes killing. If you do well at marksmanship you get rewarded with three-day passes. You only think about the points you can get from becoming an expert marksman. You don’t think about the act of taking a human life. Every aspect of popular culture incentivizes violence, from television shows to movies like ‘American Sniper.’ Killing is presented as noble. Those who kill are supposed to be heroes. And this prepares us for the military.”

When he graduated from college he signed up for Marine Officer Candidates School and was sent to Quantico, Va., for boot camp.

“When we marched in formation we shouted out cadences,” he said. “Most of the cadences were about killing. We shouted ‘Kill! Kill! Kill!’ We shouted ‘What makes the green grass grow? Blood! Blood! Blood!” We shouted ‘AT&T. Reach out and touch someone.’ The intent of OCS [Officer Candidates School] was to normalize violence, to condition us. It was very effective. Again, I didn’t think about what I was doing. All I was thinking about was being a Marine Corps officer.”

But four weeks into his training in early 2012 he was injured and had to drop out. He was devastated. He did not want to begin the whole application process again with the Marines, and he enlisted in the Army in April 2013. He went to Fort Sill, Okla., for basic training. He was then trained as a medic (68W) at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. He enrolled in airborne school at Fort Benning, Ga., and during the second week of training was injured during a practice for landing falls.

In December 2013 he was deployed to Camp Hovey in South Korea, 10 miles from the border with North Korea. He was attached as a medic to the 4-7 Cavalry. He began to hear disturbing stories about the wars in the Middle East, not the glorified stories spun out by recruiters, the media or the entertainment industry, but stories about whole families being blown up or gunned down by U.S. troops in the streets of Iraq and Afghanistan. He lived among soldiers who were suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Many were drinking heavily. He listened to them talk about being prescribed anti-depressants by Army doctors and then being redeployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. He may have been a medic, but he was required to carry a weapon and to use it in combat. He knew that for him, to do so would be impossible.

“I joined the military because I wanted to help people, to fight for the greater good,” he said. “And then I learned about innocent people being routinely blown up in war. I started researching the statistics on collateral damage in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

“A medic in the Army weaponizes soldiers so they can go back out and kill,” he said. “When we are trained as medics we are told that our task is to preserve fighting strength. Being a medic in the Army is not about helping the people who need it most. Treatment is first directed towards casualties that have the best chance to survive. Army medics exist to perpetuate warfare.”

He discovered the Iraq Body Count website and was appalled by what he learned there. He began to devour the writings and statements of Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, the Rev. John Dear, Muhammad Ali and the Dalai Lama. He could no longer watch violent movies or play violent video games.

“I began to read about the wars in Vietnam and World War II,” he said. “I read about Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Agent Orange, radiation and how it’s still affecting people today, how people are still dying or being born with congenital defects. I found Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn. I had never heard of them. I guess there was a good reason I had never heard of them. I read ‘A People’s History of the United States,’ by Zinn. I read ‘Understanding Power,’ by Chomsky. A lot of my influences, even though I am an atheist, came from religious figures like Gandhi, Father John Dear and King. I read ‘Pilgrimage to Nonviolence.’ I know why they do not tell us the truth about war. We have a volunteer Army. If people knew the truth it would decrease the numbers who want to join. I had been betrayed.” Then, in early February of 2014, he went online to the website of the Center on Conscience & War, led by Maria Santelli and Bill Galvin. Soon he contacted the two activists and told them he was a conscientious objector.

Everything about the military culture, from its celebration of violence and hypermasculinity to its cult of blind obedience, began to disturb him. He was disgusted by the military’s exploitation of Filipino women who worked in the numerous bars and clubs near the base where he was stationed in South Korea.

“Filipino women were brought over to sing in the bars,” he said. “They were great singers. They worked in bars where Korean women had been ‘comfort women’ during the Japanese colonization. The bar owners took the passports of the Filipino women. … Soldiers bought drinks and sexual services from these exploited women. I had a big issue with that. It demonstrated a lack of values.”

When he was off base he would meditate in Buddhist temples. That helped, he said, to keep him sane.

Although Army regulations required that his application be sent to the Department of the Army Conscientious Objector Review Board (DACORB) within 90 days, it took more than 200 days for the document to arrive there. On Dec. 16, 2014, he was granted status as a conscientious objector and an honorable discharge. But the deputy assistant secretary of the Army for review boards, Francine Blackmon, unilaterally overrode the DACORB determination and denied his application, even though Army regulation AR 600-43, Par. 2-8, states that a review board decision is final. Now, in a final bid to achieve conscientious objector status, he has turned to the American Civil Liberties Union.

“I have obeyed the rules during the whole process,” he said. “But in the military there is a double standard. If I do not obey the regulations I get court-martialed. If they do not obey the regulations nothing happens. It is I who suffers. If I lose this last bid I cannot reapply.”

This will be his last bureaucratic battle with the Army. He has followed the rules for two years. He will not, he said, be in the Army in 2017 at the scheduled end of his tour.

“If I’m forced to remain in the Army, I expect to eventually receive an order that I—as an objector—will be unable to comply with, resulting in a court-martial.”

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Vanilla Book Standards Chord Charts

A Portrait Of Jenny
After You’ve Gone
Ain’t Misbehavin’
Air Mail Special
Alexander’s Ragtime Band
All Blues 
All God’s Chillun Got Rhythm
All of Me
All of You
All the Things You Are
Almost Like Being In Love
Alone Together
Along Came Betty
Am I Blue
Amazing Grace
Angel Eyes
Anything Goes
April in Paris
Aren’t You Glad You’re You
As Long As I Live
As Time Goes By
At Sundown
Autumn In New York
Autumn Leaves
Basin Street Blues
Baubles, Bangles and Beads
Beautiful of Love
Bernie’s Tune
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered
Bidin’ My Time
Bill Bailey
Birth of the Blues
Black and Blue
Black Coffee
Blue Bossa
Blue Lou
Blue Monk
Blue Moon
Blue Room
Blue Skies
Body and Soul
Born to be Blue
But Beautiful
But Not for Me
By Myself
Bye Bye Blackbird
Bye Bye Blues
Cabin in the Sky
Can’t Get Out of This Mood
Can’t Help Loving that Man
Can’t We Be Friends
Cheek to Cheek
Chelsea Bridge
Christmas Song
Come Rain or Come Shine
Comes Love
Cottage For Sale
Crazy Rhythm
Cry Me A River
Dancing in the Dark
Dancing on the Ceiling
Danny Boy
Darn That Dream
Day In, Day Out
Day by Day
Days of Wine and Roses
Dearly Beloved
‘Deed I Do
Deep Purple
Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me
Don’t Blame Me
Don’t Get Around Much Anymore
Don’t Take Your Love From Me
East of the Sun
Easy Living
Easy To Love
Everything Happens To Me
Embraceable You
End of a Love Affair
Eve’ry Time We Say Goodbye
Everything I’ve Got Belongs To You
Exactly Like You
Falling In Love With Love
Fascinating Rhythm
Fine and Dandy
Fine Romance
Fly Me To The Moon
Foggy Day
Folks Who Live On The Hill
Fools Rush In
For All We Know
Freddie the Freeloader
From This Moment On
Gal In Calico (A)
Gee Baby Ain’t I Good To You
Get Happy
Georgia On My Mind
Get Out Of Town
Ghost Of A Chance
Giant Steps
Girl From Ipanema
Give Me The Simple Life
Glad To Be Unhappy
God Bless The Child
Gone With The Wind
Green Dolphin Street
Groovin’ High
Have You Met Miss Jones
Heat Wave
Here’s That Rainy Day
Honeysuckle Rose
How About You
How Deep Is The Ocean
How High The Moon
How Insensitive
How Long Has This Been Going On
I Can’t Believe Your In Love With Me
I Can’t Get Started With You
I Can’t Give You Anything But Love
I Concentrate On You
I Could Write A Book
I Cover The WaterFront
I Didn’t Know What Time It Was
I Don’t Know Why
I Fall In Love Too Easily
I Found A New Baby
I Get A Kick Out Of You
I Got It Bad
I Got Rhythm
I Hadn’t Anyone Till You
I Hear MusicI Hear A Rhapsody
I Left My Heart In San Francisco
I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart
I Love Paris
I Love You
I May Be Wrong
I Never Knew
I Remember You
I Should Care
I Surrender Dear
I Thought About You
I Want To Be Happy
I Wish I Were In Love Again
I Won’t Dance
If I Had You
If I love Again
If I Should Lose You
If I Were A Bell
If There Is Someone Lovlier Than You
If You Could See Me Now
I’ll Be Around
I’ll Be Seeing You
I’ll Never Be The Same
I’ll Get By
I’ll String Along With You
I’ll Remember April
I’ll Take Manhattan
Ill Wind
I’lLTake Romance
I’m Beginning To See The Light
I Love You
I’m Confessing That
I’m Gettin’ Sentimental Over You
I’m Glad There Is You
I’m In The Mood For Love
I’m Old Fashioned
In A Mellow Tone
In A Sentimenal Mood
In My Solitude
In Your Own Sweet Way
Indian Summer
I’snt It Romantic
It Could Happen To You
It Don’t Mean A Thing
It Had To Be You
It Might As Well Be Spring
It Never Entered My Mind
It Was Just One Of Those Things
It’s All Right With Me
It’s Only A Paper Moon
It’s The Talk Of The Town
It’s You Or No One
I’ve Got A Crush OnYou
I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm
I’ve Got The World On A String
I’ve Got You Under My Skin
I’ve Grown Accustomed To Your Face
Jeepers Creepers
Joy Spring
Just Friends
Just In Time
Just You, Just Me
Lady Be Good
Lady In Red
Lady Is A Tramp
Let’s Face The Music And Dance
Like Someone In Love
Lil’ Darlin
Limehouse Blues
Little White Lies
Long Ago And Far Away
Look For The Silver Lining
Looking For A Boy
Love For Sale
Love Me Or Leave Me
Love Nest
Love Walked In
Lover Come Back To Me
Lover Man
Lullaby In Rhythm
Lullaby Of Birdland
Luulaby Of Broadway
Luulaby Of The Leaves
Makin Whoopee
Mean To Me
Memories Of You
Mood Indigo
Moonlight In Vermont
More Than You Know
Mountain Greenery
My Blue Heaven
My Favorite Things
My Foolish Heart
My Funny Valentine
My Heart Belongs To Daddy
My Heart Stood Still
My Ideal
My Melancholy Baby
My Old Flame
My One And Only Love
My Romance
My Shining Hour
My Ship Has Sails
My Silent Love
Nearness Of You
Nice Work If You Can Get It
Night And Day
Night In Tunisia
No Moon At All
Nobody Else But Me
Old Devil Moon
On A Clear Day
On A Slow Boat To China
Old Devil Moon
On The Sunny Side Of The Street
Once In A While
One I Love Belongs To Someone Else
One Note Samba
Our Day Will Come
One Note Samba
Our Love Is Here To Stay
Out Of Nowhere
Out Of This World
Over The Rainbow
Pennies From Heaven
People Will Say We’re In Love
Pick Yourself Up
Poor Butterfly
Polkadots And Moonbeams
Prelude To A Kiss
Quiet Nights And Quiet Stars
Rose Room
‘Round Midnight
Ruby My Dear
Samba de Orfeu
Satin Doll
Scrapple From The Apple
Secret Love
September In The Rain
September Song
Seven Come Eleven
Shadow Of Your Smile
She’s Funny That Way
Shiny StockingsSkylark
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
So In Love
Softly , As A Morning Sunrise
Somebody Loves Me
Someday My Prince Will Come
Someone To Watch Over Me
Sometimes I’m Happy
Sophisticated Lady
Speak Low
Spring Is Here
St. James Infirmary Blues
St. Louis Blues
St. Thomas
Star Eyes
Stars Fell On Alabama
Stella By Starlight
Stompin’ At The Savoy
Stormy Wheather
Street Of Dreams
Strike Up The Band
Sweet And Lovely
Sweet Georgia Brown
Sweet Lorraine
Sweethearts On Parade
Swingin’ On A Star
Take Five
Take The ‘A’ Train
Taking A Chance On Love
TangerineTea For TwoTenderly
That Old Feeling
The Man I Love
The More I See You
The Song Is You
The Touch Of Your Lips
The Very Thoought Of You
The Way You Look Tonight
The World Is Waitng For The Sunrise
There Is No Greater Love
There Will Never Be Another You
There’s A Small Hotel
These Foolish Things
They All Laughed
They Can’t Take That Away From Me
Things Ain’t What They Used To Be
This Can’t Be Love
This Years Kisses
Thou Swell
Three Little Words
Time After Time
Too Marvelous For Words
Try A Little Tenderness
Tune Up
Two Sleepy People
Until The Real Thing Comes Along
Up A Lazy River
Wait Till You See Her
Well You Needn’t
What A Difference A Day Made
What A Little Moonlight Can Do
What Is There To Say
What Is This Thing Called Love
What’ll I Do
What’s New
When I Fall In Love
When Sunny Gets Blue
When The Saints Go Marching In
When You Wish Upon A Star
When Your Lover Has Gone
Where Or When
Whiffenpoof Song
White Christmas
Who Cares
Why Shouldn’t I
Willow Weep For Me
With The Wind And Rain In Your Hair
Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams
Yardbird Suite
You And The Night And Music
You Brought A New Kind Of Love
You Do Something To Me
You Don’t Know What Love Is
You Go To My Head
You Say You Care
You Stepped Out Of A Dream
You Took Advantage Of Me
You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To
Yours Is My Heart Alone
Zing Went The Strings

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McKinney, TX Cop Assaults Black Teens at Pool Party

It’s the same old same old as cops in McKinney, TX and across the nation find it impossible to curb their racism and brutality.


“From what we have seen on the video, the treatment is inhumane and especially since we are talking about teenagers,” said Gary Bledsoe, president of the Texas State Conference of the NAACP.

by Sarah Lazare

McKinney, TX (6-5-15) — A police officer’s brutal assault on black and brown teens attending a Friday pool party in the majority-white town of McKinney, Texas has sparked nationwide outrage and local plans for a March for Justice under the call, “We won’t stand idly by while children are terrorized in the street.”

“We are gathering to do a peaceful demonstration and standing in solidarity to show that we are a community and we stand together,” Keyaira Saunders Alexander of the Texas-based civil rights organization Next Generation Action Network told Common Dreams, explaining that the march is slated to take place Monday at 6:30 PM. “We want justice for those teens that were affected.”

The incident was captured in an approximately seven-minute video clip that went viral over the weekend, racking up nearly five million views on YouTube. The footage shows white police officer and patrol supervisor Eric Casebolt outside the Craig Ranch North Community Pool aggressively chasing and detaining teenagers—most black, all people of color, and none appearing to pose a threat—while slinging insults and curse words at them.

At one point, officer Casebolt proceeds to violently throw an African-American girl in a swimsuit, reportedly 14 years old, to the ground as she cries for her mother. When other teenagers of color attempt to aid the distraught child, the officer draws his gun on them, prompting them to flee. The officer then pins down the young girl by placing his knees on her back and pressing her face into the ground.

The white youth watching the incident can be seen being left completely alone by the police. White 15-year-old Brandon Brooks, who recorded the video, told Buzzfeed, “Everyone who was getting put on the ground was black, Mexican, Arabic. [The cop] didn’t even look at me. It was kind of like I was invisible.”

The following footage of the incident may be disturbing to the viewer:

The McKinney Police Department claimed in a statement released Sunday, “The initial call came in as a disturbance involving multiple juveniles at the location, who do not live in the area or have permission to be there, refusing to leave.”

But this official version of events appears to be crumbling.

Black teenager Tatiana Rose, a Craig Ranch neighborhood resident, said she and her family members hosted the pool party and cookout, which was disrupted when one of the white pool-goers began hurling racial slurs at youth and telling them to “go back to Section 8 housing.” Her account, which was reiterated by teens who spoke to Buzzfeed, was posted to YouTube on Sunday:

No matter the official justification, civil rights advocates charge that the video unambiguously shows police targeting black and brown children with excessive force. “From what we have seen on the video, the treatment is inhumane and especially since we are talking about teenagers,” said Gary Bledsoe, president of the Texas State Conference of the NAACP. “These are our children.”

The incident is garnering broad condemnation amid a growing nation-wide movement against institutional racism and police killings under the banner of “Black Lives Matter.”

Some who are active in this movement say that the McKinney incident, in particular, highlights the ways in which police violence specifically targets black women and girls. “[I]t is the young girl, forced by her hair to the ground as she screamed for her mother, that chilled me the most,” wrote Kirsten West Savali in The Root.

As Yoni Appelbaum pointed out in an Atlantic article published Monday, the violence must be evaluated as part of broader U.S. history, in which pools have been key “battlefields” for desegregation, with many choosing to make pools private rather than racially integrate them. “Whatever took place in McKinney on Friday, it occurred against this backdrop of the privatization of once-public facilities, giving residents the expectation of control over who sunbathes or doggie-paddles alongside them,” wrote Appelbaum.

Furthermore, Appelbaum notes that McKinney itself has a troubling history of racial segregation: In 2009, the city settled a lawsuit that charged it with “illegal racial steering” by blocking Section 8 housing in the more affluent, white part of town.

Many have argued that the fact that some white neighborhood residents have no problem with the police response, and are even thanking police for Friday’s assault, underscores the deep racism that pervades the community.

The police department, for its part, said the video “raised concerns that are being investigated by the McKinney Police Department,” and announced that officer Casebolt has been placed on temporary administrative leave. The mayor of McKinney, Brian Loughmiller, stated that he was “disturbed” by the incident.

But Alexander emphasized the racism that black children—and all youth of color—face extends far beyond this one video. “We hope the world is able to see, we are coming together and speaking out,” she said. “We need social change.”

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Chaske Lindgren Arrested for Vandalism to Oly Police Car


Olympia, WA (Sunday, 5-10-15) — Around two in the morning on May 10, 2015, witnesses saw a man vandalizing the Downtown Olympia Walking Patrol’s vehicle. They located the officers to inform them of the vandalism.

Witnesses saw the suspect, twenty-five-year-old Chask’e Lindgren, tear the passenger side mirror off the patrol car and slam it into the windshield. He kicked the car and threw a garbage can at it. One witness was in his car nearby and started honking his horn to try and get Lindgren to stop.

With assistance from a witness, the officers located Lindgren walking a couple blocks away from the incident. Walking Patrol called out for Lindgren to stop, but after looking at the officers, he continued to walk away. As officers attempted to detain Lindgren for questioning, he resisted their grasp while swearing and pulling away from them. Both officers restrained him, but were not able to cuff him until back up arrived.

While waiting, Lindgren started kicking one of the officers in the shins and stomping on his feet. Once other officers arrived and Lindgren was cuffed, he kicked at the vehicle and tires. Lindgren struggled with officers as they attempted to put him in the patrol vehicle, refusing to sit and preventing officers from putting his legs into the car.

ChaskeLindgren8 ChaskeLindgren7 ChaskeLindgren6 ChaskeLindgren5 ChaskeLindgren4 ChaskeLindgren3 ChaskeLindgren

Lindgren was booked at the Thurston County Jail for third degree assault, malicious mischief and resisting arrest.


by Andy Hobbs

Olympia, WA (5-11-15) — Olympia police arrested a man about 2 a.m. Sunday after a police car that belonged to the department’s downtown walking patrol was vandalized.

Chaske Lindgren, 25, was booked into the Thurston County Jail on suspicion of third-degree assault, malicious mischief and resisting arrest, and appeared Monday in Thurston County Superior Court. Because he has no criminal history, Lindgren was released on his own recognizance, but under the condition he not consume any alcohol. His arraignment was set for May 26.

Witnesses told police the suspect tore off the passenger side mirror and slammed it into the windshield, kicked the car, and threw a garbage can at it.

While detained by police, the suspect struggled with officers and kicked one of the officers in the shins and stomped on his feet, according to police.

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Ryan Wolf arrested for Stabbing Oly Homeless Man


Olympia, WA (Saturday, 5-30-15) — Ryan Wolf (30yo) from Eureka, CA, was arrested for stabbing a homeless man over a dispute involving missing personal belongings and who was to sleep on a discarded couch.

On the night of May 30, 2015, officers were called to a stabbing in downtown Olympia near the intersection of 7th Avenue and Franklin Street. The victim waved down a patrol officer as witnesses simultaneously called 911 to report the incident. The victim suffered a severe stab wound to his arm and an officer immediately applied a tourniquet while paramedics were in route.

The stabbing occurred after an argument broke out over a spot to sleep. The victim had been staying on a specific couch and maintaining the area as a living space. He found the suspect sleeping on the couch and noticed some of his belongings were missing. After confronting him, the suspect pulled a knife and the victim walked away in search of his belongings. When he returned to gather the rest of his property, the suspect attacked him with the knife. The victim used a broom to defend himself before the suspect ran off.

Witnesses said the suspect and victim were arguing when they saw the suspect make a stabbing motion and heard the victim scream. The suspect then fled and they chased after him. When they couldn’t catch him, they called 911 and also flagged down an officer.

The victim was initially taken to St. Peter’s Hospital, but was transferred to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Doctors later informed OPD that the tourniquet ultimately saved the victim’s life. If he had gone any longer, he would have suffered an arterial bleed out and death.

On Monday, June 1st, a witness of the original incident saw the suspect at Ralph’s Thriftway and tipped off law enforcement to his location. Thirty-year-old Ryan Wolf was arrested and booked at the Thurston County Jail for Assault 1st.

RyanWolf3 RyanWolf2

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Scale of Live U.S. Antrax Shipments Unknown

Officials: Dozens(?) of labs received potentially live anthrax

[Just why the U.S. Military is making shipments of Anthrax at all is unclear.]

by Robert Burns

— The problem of unintended shipments of potentially live anthrax spores over the past decade is worse than first believed, officials said Wednesday.

Officials said it’s possible that shipments were sent to more than four dozen laboratories in the U.S. and abroad. That’s about twice the estimate of last week.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss specifics by name.

The Pentagon has repeatedly asserted that the mistakes posed no public health hazard.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is leading an investigation of the matter.

Details on the extent of the problem are expected to be presented at a news conference Wednesday by Robert Work, the deputy defense secretary. Last Friday Work ordered a comprehensive review of laboratory procedures associated with killing, or inactivating, live anthrax for shipment to labs for research and other purposes(?), including for calibrating biological threat sensors such as those used by a number of federal government agencies, including the Pentagon.

The scope of the problem has grown almost daily since the Pentagon first acknowledged it publicly last Wednesday.

The initial focus was on procedures used at an Army laboratory at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, which shipped live anthrax samples that it believed had been killed through the use of radiation. It remains unclear why well-established procedures for killing the spores apparently did not work, at least with some batches of the bacteria.

Among the government labs identified in recent days as having received the suspect anthrax were the Army’s Edgewood Chemical Biological Center in Maryland and the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Virginia, as well as a lab on the grounds of the Pentagon.

Officials said that the Edgewood lab sent some of the samples it had received from Dugway to other labs in the U.S.

On Tuesday, in its most recent update, the Pentagon said potentially live anthrax samples had been mistakenly sent to labs in California, Virginia, Texas, Tennessee, Utah, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Delaware and Washington state. Also receiving suspect samples were labs in Australia, Canada and South Korea.

On Sunday, Defense Secretary Ash Carter told reporters while traveling in Asia that the mistaken shipments were an “unfortunate incident.” He said the Pentagon will make “sure that any public health consequences of this are avoided” and ensure that it never happens again. [Like the atomic bomb the U.S. Airforce ‘lost’ several years ago?]

The Centers for Disease Control of Prevention said last week that four people at labs in Delaware, Texas and Wisconsin were recommended to get antibiotics as a precaution, although they were not sick. U.S. officials at Osan Air Base in South Korea said 22 people were being treated for possible exposure there after word surfaced that an Osan lab was among the facilities that received suspect anthrax.

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Newly Found Marsupials Sex to Death

It’s difficult to ignore the moral this story may have for its human counterparts:


Tasman Peninsula dusky antechinus (Antechinus vandycki) is under threat.

Newly found marsupials basically sex themselves to death

ElaheIzadicrpby Elahe Izadi

Every year, antechinus marsupials get it on until the males all drop dead.

Researchers classified two new species of Dusky Antechinus, mouse-like creatures that engage in suicidal reproduction, and published their findings last week in the peer-reviewed journal Memoirs of the Queensland Museum — Nature. The Mainland Dusky Antechinus, found in southeastern Australia, has been elevated from sub-species to a distinct species. And the newly discovered Tasman Peninsula Dusky Antechinus, found in southeastern Tasmania, already faces the threat of extinction due in part to loss of habitat and feral pests, researchers said.

Their proclivity for ferocious, suicidal sex frenzies aren’t helping them any.

“The breeding period is basically two to three weeks of speed-mating, with testosterone-fueled males coupling with as many females as possible, for up to 14 hours at a time,” lead author Andrew Baker of the Queensland University of Technology said in a release.

[Scientists examine why men even exist]

All of that testosterone “triggers a malfunction in the stress hormone shut-off switch” for the males, Baker said. The males then get so stressed out that their immune systems fail, and they die before the females actually give birth.

Baker said the “yearly male suicide mission” cuts the population in half, leaving enough spiders and insects for the mothers to eat while raising the offspring.

Suicidal reproduction — or semelparity– is rare in mammals, and has so far just been documented in these kinds of marsupials.

2013 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences looked into why the marsupials evolved to have such extreme sexual behaviors. They concluded that the males didn’t die off as some kind of altruistic act to ensure the survival of their offspring. Rather, females may be synchronizing their mating to coincide with the availability of food while they’re pregnant. That short mating time frame creates intense competition — so intense that the males end up dying.

[Males may search for sex instead of food because their brains are programmed that way]

Over the past three years, scientists have identified five new antechinus species. The two marsupial species discussed in this new research occupy just a few square kilometers on remote, misty mountaintops. Most of the Tasman Peninusla animal’s “habitat falls within state forest, which is being logged,” Baker said. “This species now apparently only lives in tiny, fragmented stands of intact forest that are under threat.”

“It’s a shame that mere moments after discovery, these little Tasmanian marsupials are threatened with extinction at human hands,” Baker said.


Buff-footed antechinus or Antechinus mysticus

Why do seals keep trying to have sex with penguins?

Killer sperm prevents mating between worm species

When a female mantis is hungry, she fakes fertility to snack on duped mates

Scientists examine why men even exist

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Daniel Alan Dunn & Christopher Redfern Arrested for Homicide

5-28-15 Mason County Jail Roster includes:

(Mason County Superior Court Case #:15-1-00243-1)

Name:Dunn, Daniel Alan (dob:2-17-80), 
                   131 NE Bear Ridge Rd, Belfair, WA 98528
    Statute         Offense               Court Offense  Class
    --------------- ------------------------------ ----- --------
  9A.32.030       Homicide                SUPR   HOMI     FA
  9A.52.020       Burglary, Resident,     SUPR   BRUE     FA
                  Unlawf Ent

Daniel Alan Dunn


Daniel Alan Dunn & Co.

DanielADunnmapcrp DanielADunnmap2crp

Name: Redfern, Christopher Glen (dob: 11-6-87)
1028 SW View Dr, Port Orchard, WA 98367
Statute       Offense                            Court   Offense Class
————— —————————- —– ——-
9A.32.030 Homicide                     SUPR   HOMI   FA
9A.52.020 Burglary, Resident,       SUPR   BRUE    FA
Unlawf Ent


Christopher Glen Redfern of Port Orchard, WA


Christopher Glen Redfern


Christopher Glen Redfern


Christopher Glen Redfern


Christopher Glen Redfern


Christopher Glen Redfern

Belfair, WA (5-28-15) — The Mason County Sheriff’s Office has identified two suspects who were arrested after 51-year-old Charles Albion Austin (dob:7-22-63; originally from Manchester, NH) was found dead in his home near Belfair, WA.

The suspects, 27-year-old Christopher Glen Redfern of Port Orchard and 35-year-old Daniel Alan Dunn, are in Mason County Jail for investigation of murder and burglary. Superior Court Judge Toni Sheldon set bail at $1,000,000 for the suspect(s).

Neighbors who checked on Austin found him dead in his home on Monday afternoon. He died of a gunshot wound.

Sheriff’s detective William Adam said Thursday that detectives who searched the victim’s home (located between Tahuya and Belfair) found clues that led them to the suspects. Detectives aren’t sure when the death occurred, but believe it happened sometime last weekend, according to Ryan Spurling, chief deputy with the Sheriff’s office. Investigators were called Monday to Belfair View Estates near NE Hurd Rd. (150 NE Southridge Rd, Belfair, WA 98528-7733)

Authorities have labored since Monday after determining the death was suspicious, according to Spurling. Although the department would not disclose the name of the victim or suspect(s) to the Shelton Journal, other media sources were able to ferret out the names of the suspects and victim.

Initially, the Mason County Coroner had difficulty identifying the victim, Spurling said, because the body was so disfigured. Detectives believe they may have another possible suspect connected to the case.

One man was arrested Wednesday morning when deputies served a warrant on a residence in Mason County.

The second suspect was arrested later in the day in Kitsap County, Spurling said.


150 NE Southridge Rd, Belfair, WA 98528-7733


150 NE Southridge Rd, Belfair, WA 98528-7733


150 NE Southridge Rd, Belfair, WA 98528-7733

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